Mural Painting and Missionary Theater in New Spain
Publication Year: 2014
In Foundational Arts Michael K. Schuessler asserts that the literature of New Spain begins with missionary theater and its intimate relationship to mural painting. In particular, he examines the relationships between texts and visual images that emerged in Mexico at two Augustinian monasteries in Hidalgo, Mexico, during the century following the Spanish Conquest. The forced combination of the ideographical tradition of Nahuatl with Latin-based language alphabets led to a fascinating array of new cultural expressions.
Missionary theater was organized by ingenious friars with the intent to convert and catechize indigenous populations. Often performed in Nahuatl or other local languages, the actors combined Latin-based language texts with visual contexts that corresponded to indigenous ways of knowing: murals, architectural ornamentation, statuary, altars, and other modes of visual representation. By concentrating on the interrelationship between mural painting and missionary theater, Foundational Arts explores the artistic and ideological origins of Mexican plastic arts and literature.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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Introduction. Texts and Contexts: "Bookish Architecture," Mural Painting, and Theatricality in Colonial Mexico
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I made a vaulted church in the monastery of Santiago Tlatelolco . . . and an altarpiece, one of the best in the Indies, without having Masters . . . but on my own, and in order to succeed, I had to study Architecture in depth, which the Lord taught me, without having studied or known about it, or having learned from the Masters, who usually teach it, but through ...
Chapter One. Toward a Literature of Foundations
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During its early stages, the literature of New Spain included works of a marked historiographical nature, whose formal and thematic characteris-tics are defi ned by the fact that they are extra- literary, and that their purpose? within a historical context? was far from emulating a traditional work of literary fi ction that might entertain Cervantes?s ?curious reader.?1 ...
Chapter Two. Renascent Genres in New Spain
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Both the genesis and development of New Spain?s missionary theater, ana-lyzed in the previous chapter, were an almost exclusive product of a didac-tic tradition born during the Eu ro pe an Middle Ages and based on a rudimentary dramatic per for mance, although modifi ed in order to adapt to a unique situation: the spiritual conquest of the natives of New Spain.1 ...
Chapter Three. Iconography and Evangelization
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The relatively few surviving examples of the thousands of square meters of mural painting that once covered the interior walls of monasteries, churches, and pro cessional chapels of New Spain, built at the request of?the three principal evangelistic orders, constitute an iconographical repre sen ta tion that provides a unique opportunity to carry out an in- ...
Chapter Four. The Last Judgment: Mural Painting and Missionary Theater
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Fernando Horcasitas has located the most detailed reference to the Spanish- American Apocalypse, the day in which the Final Judgment is to take place, in the Doctrina cristiana en lengua espa?ola y mexicana por los reli-giosos de la Orden de Santo Domingo (Christian Doctrine in the Spanish The seventh article and knowledge of the Son of God as a man is that ...
Appendix. The Last Judgment (El auto del juicio final)
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About the Author
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Michael K. Schuessler is professor of humanities at the Universidad Aut?noma Met-ropolitana, Cuajimalpa, in Mexico City, where he teaches courses dedicated to Latin American art and literature, pre- Columbian Mexico, and colonial Mexico. He re-ceived his PhD in Hispanic languages and literatures from the University of Califor-nia, Los Angeles, where he specialized in the literature and arts of colonial Latin ...
Page Count: 237
Illustrations: 35 photos
Publication Year: 2014
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth